March 2008 marked the beginning of a new concept vehicle for the Tualatin Police Department. The Program Coordinator, Jennifer Massey, had a vision of a new "Special Events Vehicle." The idea was to make it something eye catching, fun, and friendly to kids and adults alike; a conversation piece, if you will. She knew that Tualatin Police Chief, Kent Barker (Ret.), was very fond of MINI Coopers, so she put together a proposal letter to Rasmussen MINI of Portland. She proposed free advertisement for the dealership if they donated the vehicle to use as a public display in special events involving the Tualatin Police Department. With the help of Sgt. Larry Clow (Ret.) and his handy work with computer graphics, the "MINI FIVE-O" slowly came to life.
After gaining the approval of Chief Barker (Ret.) and Tualatin's City Manager, Sherilyn Lombos, the proposal letter along with a beautiful picture of a mock-up version of the Police MINI were sent to Rasmussen MINI of Portland. Rasmussen MINI responded immediately. They thought it was a great idea! An eye catching "Special Events Vehicle" for the Police Department and free advertisement for Rasmussen MINI! What could be better?
On June 10, 2008, Tualatin Police Department took possession of its new 2008 MINI Cooper. From there it took on a transformation and became not just a car, but an icon for the Tualatin Police Department. First, the doors were painted white to match the black and white police vehicles that make up the Tualatin Police Department's fleet. Then, the graphic decals were applied, giving it the unique markings of a Tualatin Police vehicle. Next, the car was equipped with a light bar, along with flashing blue and red front grill lights and blue and red license plate lights. Lastly, the license plate, “MINI 5-0” was added to complete the look.
The "MINI FIVE-O" was displayed in the Labor Day, 2008 All British Field Meet car show, sponsored by Rasmussen MINI, at the Portland International Raceway. It took First Place as the People’s Choice!
The Tualatin Police Department expresses special appreciation to Rasmussen MINI of Portland for generously donating a brand new, beautiful MINI Cooper from June 2008 through February 2011, and giving us the freedom to transform it into what it is today. Due to unforeseen issues related to the economy, Rasmussen MINI asked that we return the MINI Cooper at the beginning of 2011. Fortunately, they allowed the City of Tualatin to purchase the vehicle and we are now proud owners of the "MINI FIVE-O". Also, many thanks to Tualatin Auto Body for donating labor and supplies to paint the doors of the vehicle; Kolor Werx for donating labor and supplies to create and apply the graphics on the vehicle; and Auto Additions for donating the work on installing the police lighting equipment.